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Becoming a trustee

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Your journey to becoming a trustee includes a thorough review of your candidate application, alumni volunteer service record, philanthropic history and more. Read about our recently appointed trustees.

Eligibility and selection

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be eligible for becoming a trustee:

  • Be an alumni of Stanford University (defined as having a degree and/or having completed a minimum of three or more quarters in a degree-granting program)
  • Be sixty-nine years of age or younger when the term commences
  • Not be a current Stanford faculty member, staff member, or student

Currently, eligible trustee candidates are identified and selected through two separate channels—both of which are extremely competitive:

  • An internal Board of Trustees process. The majority of trustees are appointed this way.
  • A nomination process overseen by an independent group of alumni, the Alumni Committee on Trustee Nominations (ACTN). The ACTN process is managed by the Stanford Alumni Association and gives Stanford alumni the opportunity to nominate themselves for consideration. The ACTN identifies four candidates for election to six-year terms on the Board of Trustees.

Read about eligibility rules and selection process (PDF)


To be considered a qualified candidate for the Board of Trustees via the ACTN process, the applicant must have demonstrated:

  • A strong commitment to the university including a substantial and sustained record of Stanford volunteer service
  • A record of outstanding leadership, including remarkable professional achievement and/or civic involvement
  • Dedication to furthering the work of the university
  • Proven commitment to Stanford through ongoing financial support and a willingness to participate in fundraising efforts
  • Previous professional and/or civic board and fiduciary experience
  • Understanding of complex business and financial transactions
  • Willingness to physically attend regular board and committee meetings (both on and off campus)

Additional criteria including diversity and area of expertise will also be considered by ACTN in order to complement and strengthen the composition of the current board.


For inquiries about the nomination process, eligibility, selection and more, please contact us.